How to replace a lost car title. The certificate of title is the legal document of your right to ownership of your car.

But if you lose your car title…

… or it gets torn or mutilated…

… stained with paint, varnish, ink, mud, coffee, or hot chocolate…

… gets burned, soaked in turpentine, used as a mechanic’s grease rag…

… you need to order a duplicate.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for most states issues car titles. Some states might call their motor vehicle authority by a different name such as Registry of Motor Vehicles or Motor Vehicles Division.

Other states give that authority to the Department of Justice, Secretary of State, or another department.

Each state has its own rules for replacing a lost car title, but some of the basic steps are the same. This handy guide from the PrivateAuto staff will help you through the process.

Why Do I Need To Replace a Lost Car Title?

The certificate of title is your deed to ownership. If you want to sell your car or use it as collateral for a loan…

… gift it to your son, daughter, niece, or nephew…

… Donate it to a homeless shelter, food bank, education nonprofit, or veterans’ services organization...

… you need the title so you can show that you own the car.

So here are the basic steps to replacing your lost car title.

Step 1 - Identify Your State’s Motor Vehicle Authority

The state authority for issuing car titles usually goes by the name of the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV.

Other states call it by a different name. For example, Massachusetts calls theirs the Registry of Motor Vehicles. In Ohio, it’s called the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

In other states, car title authority goes to another department.

In Kentucky, for example, you’d request a duplicate title through your county clerk’s office.

In Missouri, you’d go to an office of the Department of Revenue. In Illinois, the Secretary of State’s in charge of that.

Step 2 - Complete the Proper Form

Each state has its own form to replace a lost car title.

In Hawaii and Wyoming, each county has its own form.

Most states make their forms available for download in a PDF. They’re usually formatted so that you can fill it out on your computer or device before you print it.

Step 3 - Submit the Form and Pay the Fee

Some states allow you to complete your application to replace a lost car title online.

The District of Columbia and 9 states let you apply online.

  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

In the other states, you will need to apply by mail or in person. In states that require you to have the application form notarized, you can’t apply online.

How To Replace a Lost Car Title By State

The following guide aims to give you an idea of what to expect when you apply for a lost title in your state. The fees and notary requirements may change without notice.

You should visit your own state’s DMV or other motor vehicle authority website to verify the requirements.

Source: F&I Tools

Alabama

  • Form: MVT 12 1
  • Fee: $15.00
  • Notary Required: No

Alaska

  • Form: Form 809
  • Fee: $15.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Arizona

  • Form: 96 0236
  • Fee: $4.00
  • Notary Required: No

Arkansas

  • Form: 10 381
  • Fee: $10.00
  • Notary Required: No

California

  • Form: Reg 227
  • Fee: $22.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Colorado

  • Form: DR 2539A
  • Fee: $8.20
  • Notary Required: No

Connecticut

  • Form: H 6B
  • Fee: $25.00
  • Notary Required: No

Delaware

  • Form: MV 213
  • Fee: $50.00
  • Notary Required: No

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

  • Form: MV 1
  • Fee: $8.00
  • Notary Required: No

Hawaii

Hawaii

Honolulu

Maui

Kauai

Idaho

  • Form: ITD 3367
  • Fee: $14.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Illinois

  • Form: VSD 190
  • Fee: $95.00
  • Notary Required: No

Indiana

  • Form: 205
  • Fee: $15.00
  • Notary Required: No

Iowa

  • Form: 411033
  • Fee: $25.00
  • Notary Required: No

Kansas

  • Form: TR 720B
  • Fee: $10.00
  • Notary Required: No

Kentucky

  • Form: TC 96 182
  • Fee: $6.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Louisiana

  • Form: DPSMV1799
  • Fee: $76.50
  • Notary Required: Yes

Maine

  • Form: MVT 8
  • Fee: $46.00 Online, $33.00 Mail
  • Notary Required: No

Maryland

  • Form: VR 018
  • Fee: $20.00
  • Notary Required: No

Massachusetts

  • Form: T20558
  • Fee: $25.00
  • Notary Required: No

Michigan

  • Form: OSRS
  • Fee: $25.00
  • Notary Required: No

Minnesota

Mississippi

  • Form: 78 006
  • Fee: $9.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Missouri

  • Form: DOR 108
  • Fee: $14.50
  • Notary Required: Yes

Montana

  • Form: MV7
  • Fee: $10.30
  • Notary Required: No

Nebraska

  • Form: RV 707A
  • Fee: $14.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Nevada

  • Form: VP012
  • Fee: $21.00, $36.00 if car is not in state
  • Notary Required: Yes

New Hampshire

  • Form: TDMV 18
  • Fee: $25.00
  • Notary Required: No

New Jersey

  • Form: OS SS 52
  • Fee: $60.00
  • Notary Required: No

New Mexico

New York

  • Form: MV 902
  • Fee: $20.00
  • Notary Required: No

North Carolina

  • Form: MVR 5
  • Fee: $20.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

North Dakota

  • Form: SFN 2872
  • Fee: $5.00
  • Notary Required: No

Ohio

  • Form: BMV 3774
  • Fee: $15.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Oklahoma

  • Form: 701 7
  • Fee: $12.50
  • Notary Required: Yes

Oregon

  • Form: 735 515
  • Fee: $93.00
  • Notary Required: No

Pennsylvania

  • Form: MV 380
  • Fee: $55.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Rhode Island

  • Form: TR 2 TR 9
  • Fee: $52.50
  • Notary Required: Yes

South Carolina

South Dakota

  • Form: MV 010
  • Fee: $10.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Tennessee

Texas

  • Form: VTR 34
  • Fee: $2.00 mail, $5.45 in person
  • Notary Required: No

Utah

  • Form: TC 123
  • Fee: $6.00
  • Notary Required: No

Vermont

  • Form: VT 004
  • Fee: $35.00
  • Notary Required: No

Virginia

  • Form: VSA 67
  • Fee: $15.00 in person or mail, $14.00 online
  • Notary Required: No

Washington

West Virginia

  • Form: DMV 4 TR
  • Fee: $15.00
  • Notary Required: No

Wisconsin

  • Form: MV2119
  • Fee: $20.00
  • Notary Required: No

Wyoming

  • Form: By county
  • Fee: $15.00
  • Notary Required: Yes

Making Corrections on a Duplicate Title

If you’ve changed your name because of marriage or divorce, you’ll need to update your record when you replace a lost car title.

You’ll most likely need to show a marriage certificate or divorce decree. If you were awarded a car in a divorce settlement, be prepared to show the court order when you apply.

You might have to submit a form with a brief explanation for the name change.

If your name’s misspelled, you can show your driver’s license or state ID card to get it corrected. If the misspelling is because the DMV staff made an error, you won’t have to pay a fee in most cases.

Even though you don’t pay for spelling errors, you still owe the fee for a duplicate title.

How To Replace a Lost Car Title That’s Not In Your Name

What if you bought a used car from a private seller and then lost the title before you applied for the title transfer?

If you can, get the seller to request the duplicate. Be sure to offer to pay for the fee. It’s common courtesy, and it’ll make it easy for the seller to help you out.

You’ll have to fill out the assignment of title section again.

You can replace a lost car title with a court order under some circumstances.

  • You inherited the car, but you’re not able to locate the title.
  • You lost a car title when you bought it from a private seller, but you can’t contact them.

You will have to appear in court and have a judge award you ownership.

Conclusion

The certificate of title shows that you are the lawful owner of your car.

You’ll need the title if you want to sell, gift, or donate your car. You’ll also need it if you want to put up your car as collateral for a loan.

But if the title gets lost or damaged, you can apply for a duplicate.

Whether you’re selling or buying, PrivateAuto makes it easier than ever.

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  • State-specific documents you can complete and sign directly from the app.

Buy or sell a used car with PrivateAuto today.